You have probably seen something like this triangle before, and it most likely was paired with a motivating title like “You Can Only Pick Two”...
But is it really impossible balance all three? Are there really no career paths that are meaningful, manageable, and monetarily rewarding? Doubtful.
Sure - running headfirst into a career path with looming tuition loans while attempting to maintain a reasonably enjoyable lifestyle after graduation can be pretty daunting. But with the help of some self searching, you can plan for a career that is rewarding for your well-being and your wallet!
Preferred leisure activities & personal lifestyle should definitely be considered when planning to tackle this triangle, but I won’t pretend to know what you like to do with your spare time - instead I will focus on the other two aspects of a great career - profit and passion. In order to hone in on your ideal strategy, ask yourself the following questions:
- Have you graduated yet? If not, do you want to wait until graduation to plan your career or get started now?
- Different things work for different people. Although I opted to wait until my senior year to start planning (which has thankfully resulted in numerous opportunities), I would definitely encourage you to consider starting your plans sooner than later.
- What resources do you have available to you? Can you go live at home if need be? Do you have money saved? Connections?
- While it may not be as glamorous/preferable/adult as getting your own place, living with your family should free up valuable time and money that can be reallocated to your career goals.
- Having some extra money saved allows you more freedom in your search options - you can travel or relocate comfortably to a better area or start investing in whatever it takes to achieve your career goals.
- Ever heard the saying “It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know”? The more connections you have with professionals, the better your odds of finding employment. Even if the job isn’t quite right for you, now you’ll be more informed as to which industries and companies aren’t worth pursuing further.
- What are your previous job experiences? Have you ever worked for a non-profit? Volunteered? Was that fulfilling for you or did it still feel like just another job?
- Working for a not-for-profit may feel like the right thing to do - getting in the mud and working hard, making a positive impact on the world, fighting the evils of capitalism! But these are not the only organizations dedicated to social benefit, and many non-profits don’t even have much of an impact due to inefficiencies and complicated problems. Additionally, it may be a better use of your time to find a high paying job and volunteering your time and funds to the most impactful charities.
- Have you researched the 3 primary business models?
- What is the timeline for your goals?